How to Apply Iron-on Patches

    by Dan Dechenaux

    About the Author

    Dan Dechenaux has written since 2009. Specializing in health and sports topics, he contributes articles to The Sports Ad-Visor. Dechenaux received a Master of Arts in communication arts from the University of Notre Dame.


    Iron on patches are made to prolong the life of clothing by covering up holes. Applying these patches instead of throwing out the clothing and buying new clothes saves you money and keeps old garments out of landfills. Iron on patches can also be used to decorate and customize clothing or to add detail to costumes. Patches come in many shapes, styles and sizes, such as smiley faces animals and cartoon characters.

    Things You'll Need

    • Iron
    • Ironing board
    • Iron-on patches
    • Washcloth

    Wash the garment intended for the patch and dry it on the permanent press cycle to aid in obtaining a wrinkle-free garment. If the clothing is not smooth, the patch may not adhere correctly or might bunch up the material when applied.

    Lay the clothing flat on an ironing board and center the patch over the hole in the clothing. Place a washcloth over the patch so the heat is not applied directly to the patch or clothing when ironing.

    Set the iron to the heat setting to match the material in the garment. Allow the iron adequate time to heat up. If you start to apply the patch before the iron is fully heated, it may not adhere correctly in places.

    Place the iron on the washcloth and move it slowly in a circular motion for approximately 90 seconds. If the iron starts to wrinkle the cloth, straighten it back out.

    Lift the cloth to check that the patch is applying correctly, then replace the cloth back over it. If the patch is not adhering, you will want to stop the process and start over with a new patch. Iron the cloth for another 30 seconds, turn off the iron and unplug it.

    Remove the washcloth and let the clothing sit until it and the patch are cool to the touch.

    • Substitute a cotton t-shirt for the washcloth if it is not allowing enough heat through to make the patch adhere.
    • To prevent injury, always make sure to place the iron to the side in a safe position when not using it.


    • "Mend it!: A complete Guide to Clothes Repair"; Maureen Goldsworthy; 1980